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High-speed rail wins legal battle

Original post made on Mar 1, 2013

An effort by Peninsula cities to stop California's high-speed-rail project came to a screeching halt this week when a Sacramento County judge upheld the California High-Speed Rail Authority's environmental-review process for the highly controversial project.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 1, 2013, 9:58 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by Herb Borock, a resident of Professorville
on Mar 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

The writs previously issued by Judge Kenny required the High Speed Rail Authority to revise specified parts of its enviromental review of the project.

The Peninsula cities "do not contend that respondent failed to comply with the writs with regard to any of the areas of deficiency the Court identified in its earlier rulings".

Instead, the cities argued that the enviromental review should have analyzed the two-track blended system, because Caltrain had written that it would not approve a four-track system.

Here is what Judge Kenny said about that argument:

"The Court notes that petitioners appear to treat the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board's refusal to consider construction of the four-track system to be inherently irreversible and thus absolutely to preclude construction of a four-track system in the Caltrain right of way forever. While it is clear that the Board opposes the four-track system now, it is not necessarily clear that this will always be the case. The Court observes that the Board is an appointed body, the members of which are appointed from various governmental entities and locations. It is not inconceivable that its position on construction of the high speed rail system, which is essentially a political decision, could change in the future."

The judge's statement about Caltrain also applies to the Palo Alto City Council, which has already changed its position once from supporting the ballot measure for high speed rail to opposing the current four-track plan.

The City Council's current position is essentially a political decision that needs to be supported, because there continue to be people in Palo Alto and elswhere that want the Council to change its position again.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

Years of lawsuits and delays have just wasted tax payer money and driven up the price, which will also have to be paid by the tax payers. If the NIMBYs had just listed to the voters in the first place, this project would have gone much more smoothly and cheaply. Blame the NIMBYs for your higher taxes.

Posted by Michael Tompert, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

Hurray! A small step for the high speed rail authority, but a giant step forward for Palo Alto and California towards joining the rest of the developed world in building sustainable and forward looking transportation.

Posted by Mel, a resident of Atherton
on Mar 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm

What a bunch of wasted consultancy money these cities are dumping needlessly away. We could supplement more police and firefighters programs with these funds. Learn to work together as a team to solve infrastructure problems like the High Speed Rail Designs.

On the internet, you can view the 'Railroader' Menlo Park Station Closing Scene clip that illustrates the frustration on commuters waiting for this construction to begin. Railroader is a documentary style movie that is located at the following hotlink:

Web Link



Posted by Leonard, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Yes! Let the building begin...and yes I will use this transportion! Can't wait!

Posted by Pro HSR, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Stop suing and attacking, start working WITH the project, and make it the best possible. HSR goes through nice suburban neighborhoods and into downtown capital cities all over Europe, and it's not a problem.

Let's just work to get the best layout we possibly can through cooperation. And it needs to stop in PA for us to fully benefit from it!

Posted by Pro HSR, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Stop suing and attacking, start working WITH the project, and make it the best possible. HSR goes through nice suburban neighborhoods and into downtown capital cities all over Europe, and it's not a problem.

Let's just work to get the best layout we possibly can through cooperation. And it needs to stop in PA for us to fully benefit from it!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm

HSR must start working with Caltrain not the two working independently.

Work together with the other Bay Area transit agencies also.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Hilarious that additional environmental review would stall a project destined to get many cars off the road.

I'm fairly new to this particular issues, so feel free to point me to any discussion if it's come up before, but what is the benefit to sharing the tracks? quicker construction? ability to electrify Caltrain using funds marked for HSR? less upset of land and infrastructure already in place?

Seems to me that HSR and Caltrain sharing tracks is only buying some time that will be way repaid in delays when both systems are up and running. Please enlighten me.

Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

I think that HSR does not pencil, at several levels. In fact, I think it is an absurd waste of resoruces, time and money. However, Barack Obama was reelected and Jerry Brown is our Guv. Our city council unanimously endorsed this turkey. Stupid is as stupid does.

HSR will go through Palo Alto as a four-track elevated system, as originally proposed.

Posted by Laurel, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm

wow, the HSR shills are out today! This thing was, and continues to be a fraud, nothing more. A well executed siphoning of tax dollars from the public, to the big labor unions who helped Jerry get re-elected, nothing more. The train is the cod-piece over the bulging politically motivated boondoggle.

HSR shills, did you know that the CA HSR claims that they will have 117 Million riders by 2030? Amtrak, with a record year, had 31.2 million rider for their nation wide network, a 3.2% increase over last year. hmm, if that grown continues until 2030, they might have a few million riders by 2030, but miraculously, CA HSR will have nearly 4 times Amtrack's nation wide ridership? Really.

And how about that cost, officially only $69B. Most likely hundreds of billions of your tax dollars after principal, interest, and insider waste kick in. Where's that coming from?

A real waste.

Posted by TheTruth, a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2013 at 9:03 am

GOOD...The Nimbys and the grandstand sideshow of "terror" tales has been thrown an new upgraded Caltrain and HSR will move forward..Next we need to get rid of the Rebubs/teabaggers in DC so funding can move forward

Posted by BostonBigDig, a resident of Community Center
on Mar 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Hey TheTruth, Who is going to pay for the grand swindle? You? Please elaborate. What gets cut to pay for the train to nowhere?

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Pro HSR: Where do you propose to build the required 3000 car garage for your PA HSR stop and who is going to pay for it (HSR will not)? And what residential street do you plan to take over to facilitate moving the HSR station car traffic from 101 to downtown?

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